fourth of july 2019 baseball game google Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A participant who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In today without MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to search out things that remind them of what makes the game so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth surprise of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to among the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you may have the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime dwelling run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. Much of that joy is tied in with browsing Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and fun names and fantastic accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, but in a time absent of actual games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively even more central for followers: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The site has extra data available than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in ability stage throughout four continents; for each doable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to have a good time the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anywhere on the site. As befits this eighth surprise, we acquired weird—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply ready for the primary real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the vital distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Each time a player leads his league in a statistical class, the number on his page is displayed in bold. If he leads all of Major League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s web page, with certain classes weighted to emphasise their significance, and publishes the player’s rating on the bottom of his web page as a quick and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads talk about gamers with a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my private favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God relaxation his soul, but he may absolutely rake. If you understand anything about Hornsby, other than his profitable personality, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb total. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting average, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes three times mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you simply desire a stats site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst staff in MLB historical past. They are also my favorite group in MLB historical past. (I am keen on them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend purchased me a vintage Spiders T-shirt as a birthday current.) And their Baseball-Reference page exhibits why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ owners also purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—together with Cy Younger and two different future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately apparent on the web page. One of the only indications of something strange comes at the top of the page, when B-Ref provides an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season however not their subsequent. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something unusual is the info itself; B-Ref is, firstly, a treasure trove of data. As an example, each staff web page includes a fast visual representation of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, pink means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 crimson.

Every web page is filled with storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however finished the season with a 4-30 document, and that the pitching staff as a complete completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t function a single player with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t almost as exact as it is at present. Six gamers have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness on the plate. They usually highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this team, too, with a enjoyable title and a hilarious player photograph—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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